If you did not believe that eating meat and dairy products worsens climate change, scientists from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, can now prove it to you. In a study, just published in the journal Climatic Change, the team explains how agricultural emissions released during the process of meat and dairy production, can overtake those produced by the transport and energy sectors, as the global population continues to grow.
In anticipation of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is probably being presented as we speak, researchers and various organizations keep speculating whether the world will be able to meet the limits that the UN have set. Of course, the most highly discussed topics are energy production and transport, which is understandable, since the two sectors are the ones currently holding the top spot on the pollution chart. But it seems another industry is slowly catching up with them, and it is very likely that it will only pick up speed in the coming years- that is the agricultural production.
The warning was issued by Fredrik Hedenus, Stefan Wirsenius, and Daniel Johansson, Swidish climate scientists. They estimated that the targets would never be met, if no one takes into account population rise, and the increase in consumption of meat and dairy that comes with it. Changes in technology and production methods are not something that could be done over night. Besides the technical difficulties, the agricultural sector is also very highly dependent on temperatures and climate, which only worsens the problem.
The scientists point out that the only way to reduce emissions is by limiting the global meat and dairy consumption. As it stands right now, beef and lamb alone, although contributing only 3% of the calories that a person takes, could soon account for as much as 50% of the total emissions generated by agriculture. The authors also emphasize on the fact that if we are to combat climate change and meet those harsh but very needed targets, we should all pay more attention at what we eat and make the necessary changes today.
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